Romance is alive on Valentine's Day; Corkman proposes to partner in the most special way 

Romance is alive on Valentine's Day; Corkman proposes to partner in the most special way 
Robert O'Hara from Blackrock makes a surprise proposel to his partner, Louise Mullally from Abbeyleix, Co. Laois at Galaxy Lighting retail shop on Oliver Plunkett Street. Pic: Gavin Browne

ONLY two stars in the galaxy mattered tonight when a couple got engaged in a special Valentine's Day proposal.

Corkman Robert O’Hara, aged 39, popped the question to his girlfriend of seven years, Laois native Louise Mullally (38), who said yes without hesitation. 

The Valentine’s proposal was far from clichéd, however, as Rob went to every effort to ensure the big moment was unique to the couple’s love story.

Robert O'Hara from Blackrock makes a surprise proposal to his partner, Louise Mullally from Abbeyleix, Co. Laois at Galaxy Lighting retail shop on Oliver Plunkett Street. Pic: Gavin Browne
Robert O'Hara from Blackrock makes a surprise proposal to his partner, Louise Mullally from Abbeyleix, Co. Laois at Galaxy Lighting retail shop on Oliver Plunkett Street. Pic: Gavin Browne

Speaking to The Echo ahead of the big moment, Rob admitted he was nervous that his plan would unfold as he’d envisaged. 

“I’m nervous as you can imagine,” he laughed. 

“I just want everything to go to plan. 

"We normally go for a meal on Valentine’s Day and we had gotten a voucher for Christmas so it’s under that guise that we’re heading into town. 

Robert O'Hara from Blackrock makes a surprise proposal to his partner, Louise Mullally from Abbeyleix, Co. Laois at Galaxy Lighting retail shop on Oliver Plunkett Street. Pic: Gavin Browne
Robert O'Hara from Blackrock makes a surprise proposal to his partner, Louise Mullally from Abbeyleix, Co. Laois at Galaxy Lighting retail shop on Oliver Plunkett Street. Pic: Gavin Browne

"I don’t think Louise has any idea… I think I’ve gotten away with it,” he said. 

Rob and Louise first met at Electric Picnic seven years ago. 

“We swapped numbers and kept in contact," said Rob.

"Louise came down to Cork and we went on a date to the National Sculpture Factory, which had an event on for Culture Night. 

"When we were walking back, we passed Galaxy Lighting on Oliver Plunkett Street and we kissed outside. Now we have a thing that any time we walk past the shop we have a kiss,” Rob said. 

The two commuted between Cork and Laois up until last year when Louise decided to move to Cork and the couple had their first child together, Donnacha. 

“The distance had given us some challenges over the years but I eventually managed to sell Cork to her! I’m delighted now that the population of Cork has grown by two. 

"I’m from Blackrock and we both live in Wilton now. The joke is, I moved just far enough away that my parents would have to phone before visiting,” Rob said.

When it came to planning how he might propose, the Cork County Council engineer knew he had to incorporate the shop which had become a landmark in their love story. 

Robert O'Hara from Blackrock makes a surprise proposal to his partner, Louise Mullally. Pic: Gavin Browne
Robert O'Hara from Blackrock makes a surprise proposal to his partner, Louise Mullally. Pic: Gavin Browne

“I contacted Fiona Ahern from Galaxy Lighting who has been so accommodating. 

"I think she reckons I’m a bit tapped but she said it was a sweet idea nonetheless!" 

A private dining area inside the closed shop was set up for the couple to enjoy a starter before heading across the road to Jacques restaurant - another local business who were in on the proposal. 

“Eithne Barry from Jacques Restaurant has been incredible too. 

"We’ll be heading across the road after the proposal and our starter to finish the meal. My friend Ray has been amazing too in helping set everything up,” Rob said.

As for the all-important ring selection, instinct was Rob’s guiding compass and unlike many, he decided against seeking consultation. 

“I took a punt at it,” he laughed. 

As they say, fortune favours the bold. 

Many congratulations to the happy couple.

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